Boston, Mr. Wright, Massacio and Coffee Talk

Wednesday, July 10th, 2002 | Art

Here I am in Beantown–don’t they call Boston that? I arrived yesterday afternoon, and spent the evening with my dealer, Bernie, and his lovely partner, Joe, who runs the local community-supported non-profit theater. I showed Bernie some of my new work over fabulous Greek food, including a truly stellar grilled octopus. We all ate too much, but drank just enough. He’s thinking of putting together a photo show later in the year with a few of his gallery artists, and would like to include a few images of Jack and Mack. We’re thinking of blowing them up even larger than the 28″ square that they are now. Bernie is one of those dealers that you dream of–accommodating, undemanding, gentle, gracious, smart… I have nothing but respect and admiration for him, and am excited to be part of the Boston art scene. I get the impression that they all think I’m this famous California artist out here. Somehow I project this illusion of fame. Remember that episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse where Miss Yvonne gives Reba the mail lady a makeover? When Reba complains that she’s not beautiful, Miss Yvonne gently scolds her with the words “If you feel beautiful, you are beautiful.” I really feel like a success out here.

So anyway, this morning I met with Les Wright, who couldn’t have been More Right as an art-viewing buddy. And he is as cute as a button–a shaved, squat, bearded one, with glasses and a big hoop earing. We ended up spending the whole day together, visiting the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum, in between lots of coffee, coffee talk, theorist bashing, divulged secrets, art theory, bear theory (I have to giggle), boyfriend woes, girltalk, a bizarrely high number of common acquaintances, and just lots of fun. He’s just a swell fellow, and has written several books on the bear phenomenon, such as The Bear Book I and The Bear Book II. He’s working on a new tome about–you know, we talked for the longest time about it, and I can’t remember the way he put it, but it has something to do with long-term coping with trauma. Okay, so back to the Gardner museum… The Gardner contains the amazing private collection of Isabella Gardner. It includes a Masaccio (he died in his 20’s, produced very little, and was one of the most influential early Renaissance painters in northern Italy), a Giovanni Bellini (no identifying tag, but a gem of a painting of the Madonna and Child in a playful very tender display of affection), several Boticellis, a Rembrandt, she used to own a Vermeer, but it was stolen, a pretty fabulous portrait of herself by Sargent, a gorgeous Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach, and endless scraps of chapels, marble sculpture, monasteries, and venetian palazzi embedded in the walls and architecture of the museum, which used to be her home: home sweet classical medieval venetian renaissance baroque ashcan flemish fin de siecle home.

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